Waylon Smithers Will Come Out as Gay on ‘The Simpsons’ This Season
The Simpsons isn’t exactly new to stunt programming. Just last night, the season premiere featured Marge and Homer getting a divorce, only for the final act to reveal that it was all a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream. Hell, this is the same show that had Mr. Burns get shot by a baby, and had audiences vote on whether or not Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel would stay together.
So it’s no real surprise to learn that the latest ratings stunt for The Simpsons is that Waylon Smithers, the longtime assistant to Mr. Burns, will come out as gay in a storyline spanning two episodes this season.
“In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t,” said showrunner Al Jean, in an interview promoting the new season. “We deal with that in two episodes… We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options.”
Naturally, Smithers wouldn’t be the first person to come out on the show. Marge’s sister, Patty, came out in the season 16 episode, “There’s Something About Marrying”. The show even had Homer indirectly explore his sexuality in the Season 14 episode, “Three Gays of the Condo”. Sure, it’s a total stunt storyline, but it should be interesting to see how the show handles this, since it’s rare for The Simpsons to handle a matter of this gravity.
What do you think of the decision to have Smithers come out? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on The Simpsons, read up on the drama surrounding longtime star Harry Shearer, who quit the show, only to return for Season 27 after lengthy negotiations. It’s interesting stuff!